I’ve been working as a contractor for writing, editing, desktop publishing, graphic design, teaching and standing on my head for people’s amusement for quite a while now, and there are some things that I’ve learned along the way. For example, if someone can figure out a way to not pay you or underpay you, even if they’re very, very happy with what you’ve done, many, if not most, will.
(Editor’s note – run-on! Fragments! Too many commas! Lose the exclamation points! Use a hyphen, silly!) P.S. I’m my own editor.
Secondly, owing self-employment taxes to the government and state stinks. (Right now the government has got me down for one soul, and my first-born.)
Third, getting health insurance when you don’t know how much money you’ll be making at any time in any month, is impossible.
Fourth, people without insurance are scum in the eyes of the medical world and are treated as such.
Fifth, everyone wonders when you’ll get a ‘real job.’
Sixth, you learn that what you always thought was a good daytime schedule, slowly shifts to the schedule your body most prefers, and is the most inconvenient for every possible thing you’d like to get done during the day.
Seventh, you will really miss things such as the fabled ‘dental insurance,’ or the even more elusive, ‘vision package.’
So, I’m pretty easy-going. I can work for myself and be happy, or work for someone else and be happy (as long as I actually get to do my work). I love to work and view most projects as a cool and intricate puzzle I get to solve. I also love my downtime, and am so excited to be at home at night eating dinner with my sweetheart, doing my volunteer stuff, reading, or vegging out on the couch playing video games.
When working for yourself, you forget how to dress yourself – at least I’m afraid I have. I spent the last 2 years trying to look nice and professional for the web-cam, and have slowly forgotten about matching everything below my shoulders. Socks? More mythical creatures. Jeans? The most uncomfortable pants in existence (did I ever really think they were more comfortable than yoga pants?). High-heels? I miss those a lot… until I’m wearing them again.
Finally, the biggest change for me being self-employed is that I feel as if talking to live people is one of the most exciting things on the planet. “Honey, guess what? I talked to the landlord today! It was great!” And leaving the house to go grocery shopping is an ‘outing.’ Plus, I’m not sure I remember how to sit in an office chair without crossing my legs under me. Weird, huh?
Self-employment is it’s own mental illness, I swear to God.
Got some self-employment blues? Tell me!